One of the more satisfying aspects of being AIA-SWO president this year has been the opportunity to witness the increased enthusiasm and participation of emerging professionals within our chapter. Our board is fostering a climate where emerging professionals are rewarded for contributing to chapter activities that pursue the broader goals of the AIA. We want our younger members and associates to find empowerment and inspiration through participation within our chapter structure.
Our AIA-SWO Associate Director, Mariko Blessing, is doing a tremendous job of engaging and energizing our younger members. In response to her leadership, the chapter has undertaken a number of initiatives. These include:
- Establishing the AIA-SWO Emerging Professionals Group
- Conducting the 2010 Region Conference logo design charrette
- Applying for an AIA College of Fellows Emerging Professional Component Grant
- Applying for an AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Leadership Grant
- Purchasing LEED accreditation exam study tools
- Conducting a survey of Associate members and other interns about AIA-SWO chapter activities
Mariko has found eager support from her fellow emerging professionals, notably a core group that has assisted with one or more of the initiatives listed above.
Speaking of young leadership, I’m pleased to announce that Shawn Jenkins of PIVOT Architecture is the AIA-SWO nominee for the AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Associate Director (RAD). Shawn is yet another one of our associate members who is stepping forward to assume a leadership role. His service as the 2010-2011 RAD will further strengthen our chapter’s ties to the Region, which links the various components (chapters and state organizations) with the schools of architecture and the Institute at the national level.
Our newest members want the AIA to look and feel different, reflecting the changes in our profession. Many of them view the Institute as stodgy and stuck in its ways – an old boys club. We’re trying our best to change that perception. Our chapter is doing its part to align the AIA with the realities of the new millennium. At the same time, we want our emerging professionals to value the heritage and history of the organization. The involvement of today’s emerging professionals will build upon the Institute’s past achievements while bolstering its strength and commitment to a better built environment. Ultimately, our goal is to help our younger members assume the mantle of professional leadership. They are the future of the AIA.
September Chapter Meeting
Our September chapter meeting will reveal the results of this year’s People’s Choice Awards program. Be on hand as the People’s Choice winners are announced; additionally, the recipients of the Colleague’s Choice Awards will also be recognized. The 2009 People’s Choice Boards will be arrayed around the room to provide a visual smorgasbord for your enjoyment before and during dinner.
The September meeting will also feature a recap of the 2009 Northwest & Pacific Region Conference in Anchorage, Alaska from those who will have attended (the event occurs September 16-19). Our chapter is hosting the 2010 Region Conference here in Eugene, so we hope to learn much from the Alaska experience. We’re already making preparations for 2010, which include producing a promotional video, a conference theme, and a logo. We’ll unveil all of these and more about our plans for 2010 as part of this month’s program.
Mark your calendars: the meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at The Actors Cabaret in downtown Eugene; the social hour begins at 5:30. You will soon receive a separate e-mail with RSVP information.
Our September AIA-SWO program sponsor is KONE, one of the world's leading elevator and escalator companies. KONE offers the best people flow experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting from one place to another. KONE also provides maintenance services for automatic building doors. The company operates some 800 service centers in around 50 countries and delivers approximately 50,000 new elevators and escalators per year. Its service base consists of approximately 650,000 elevators and escalators and more than 270,000 automatic building doors.
Randy Nishimura, AIA
2009 President, AIA-Southwestern Oregon